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Thursday 21 September 2017

'He plays the same Coldplay songs over and over'

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

The new code of conduct for buskers will come as a relief to shop workers driven crazy by the same songs being played ad nauseam outside their door.

The performers themselves yesterday appeared to be unperturbed by the latest diktat, with some agreeing that the same few songs played endlessly is a major turn-off.

However, others pointed out that they know what works, what draws in the crowds -- and of course, those all-important coins.

But the performers the Irish Independent talked to wondered how the council would be able to enforce the 20-song rule.

"There is one guy who plays the same two Coldplay songs and then Bruno Mars again and again," said Padraig Og Mac Aodhagain (17) who is part of a 10-piece ensemble of young musicians.

The group, who are friends from Clontarf in Dublin, are playing on Grafton Street in Dublin during the school holidays.

Libby McCrohan (18), a guitarist with the group, said they would have no problem coming up with 20 different tunes.

But she said that some are more lucrative than others.

"There are always some sets that get the crowd going," she said.

At least half a dozen musical acts and street performers had set up camp along the sun-filled Grafton Street.

Veteran buskers Aidan Mulloy (18) from Blackrock, Dublin, and Rory Costello (20) from Balbriggan believe they can surpass the 20-song minimum.

"We have about 30 songs," estimated Aidan.

And the life of the street performer can be feast or famine.

"It's exciting because you just don't know if you're going to make €200 or €30," he said.

But for every appreciative audience, there is also a deafened shop worker. At the top of Grafton Street, a guitarist and singer cranked up their amp in a bid to lure punters, but succeeded in alienating local businesses.

A woman working in a nearby clothes shop emerged to ask them to keep it down.

Under the new code being launched today, the duo won't be able to use their amp in that location anymore. A number of areas will be "amp-free zones".

Irish Independent

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